Coffee can be as varied and compelling as wine, but despite the coffee shop craze, many coffee drinkers never venture beyond the type they’ve drunk for decades. One reason: They have no way of knowing what other coffees will appeal to their personal tastes.
Interestingly, there’s a strong correlation between the type of coffee people enjoy in their morning mug and the type of beverages they favor at other times of day. Here’s how to gauge which coffee might be best for you…
• For fans of white wines: Ethiopian washed, or wet-processed, coffee. With a washed, or wet-processed, coffee, the fruit is removed before the beans are dried. The result is a sweetly bright profile and, in the case of an Ethiopian washed coffee, prominent spicy floral character, which often appeals to white wine drinkers. Selections: Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Grade 1, $14.99/pound, Willoughbys Coffee.com…JBC Coffee Roasters Alemu Bukato Ethiopia, $18.75/12 ounces, JBCCoffeeRoasters.com.
• For fans of fruity red wines: Ethiopian dry- or natural-processed. Unlike the washed coffees, dry-processed beans are dried inside the fruit. That creates coffees with strong fruit notes that some describe as blueberry-like. Depending on where the beans were grown, some also show prominent notes of dark chocolate or florals. Selection: Dragonfly Coffee Roasters Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Natural, $18/12 ounces, DragonflyCoffeeRoasters.com.
• For fans of highland Scotch whisky: Sumatran. Sumatran coffees can be fruity, too, but with pungent, earthy tones that tend to appeal to fans of smooth Scotch whisky with a touch of peat. In the best Sumatran coffees, those earthy tones are fresh and aromatic, like shuffling through freshly fallen leaves or sniffing moist pipe tobacco. Sumatran coffees also tend to be low in acidity, which makes them popular among coffee drinkers who can get an upset stomach from other brews. Selections: JBC Coffee Roasters Tano Batak Sumatra, $18.50/12 ounces, JBCCoffeeRoasters.com…Allegro Coffee Sumatra Lake Toba, $11.99/12 ounces, AllegroCoffee.com.
• For fans of Cabernet wines: Kenyan. Kenyan coffees usually are sweetly tart and pungent, intense but deep and rounded, often with notes that evoke flavors of blackberry, black currant and sometimes grapefruit plus hints of flowers. Their depth and sweet yet dry fruit notes are what may appeal to Cabernet drinkers. Selections: Dragonfly Kenya Karindundu AA, $18/12 ounces, DragonflyCoffeeRoasters.com…Allegro Coffee Kenya Grand Cru, $13.99/12 ounces, AllegroCoffee.com.